Google currently has two operating systems: Chrome OS for notebooks and desktops and Android for phones and tablets. But the lines are kind of blurry since you can run the Chrome web browser on most Android devices.

What I’d really like to see is support for Chrome extensions and plugins on Android devices — but it looks like Google is taking another approach toward bringing Chrome apps to mobile devices.

TNW reports Google is building a toolkit to help Chrome packaged app developers port their apps to run on Android and iOS devices.

chrome logo

The finished apps won’t run in the browser the way they do when you’re using Chrome on a desktop or laptop machine. Instead, developers will be able to distribute the apps as standalone programs in the App Store or Google Play Store.

The upshot is that developers will be able to create apps that can run on phones, tablets, notebooks, desktops, or anything in between.

You can find more details at github, and a bit more of an explanation of how things are expected to work at TNW.

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6 replies on “Chrome apps coming to Android, iOS, leaving browser behind”

  1. Wireless technology and implementation is not ready for Chrome OS. Mobile users will find it inconsistent and flaky. Until the FCC can obtain far more bandwidth from private companies and U.S. government which are hoarding the frequencies, Chrome OS will not be reliable enough for mobile use. Perhaps in another 20 years. Until than a full hardware featured OS such as the Surface Pro, with full multitasking capabilities is more practical.

  2. Title should have just said Chrome apps coming to Android iOS. It’s not “leaving the browser behind”. If anything this gives way more options and encouragement for those developing for the browser with traditional browser tools like HTML5 and WebGL instead of native iOS or Android.

    This adds not subtracts to the browser based development. Of course the apps as originally developed will still run in the browser and that is where their development would typically start by getting it working in the browser.. These tools enable web developers to additionally wrap and extend that code to the app stores with support from Google. It’s a good thing not a bad thing for those developing for the browser. Now you can be in the browser and then extend to the app stores more easily with additional tools from Chrome and take advantage of hardware options that were not available.

  3. It would be cool if mobile Chrome could run mobile Chrome apps. They could potentially be smaller and save storage space if they run online instead of locally. PCs and Macs can run web apps in a browser, so Android should as well. I doubt that running apps in Chrome wouldn’t happen on iOS (since Apple has to control how you use your device), but at least mobile-ifying Chrome apps to go to the App Store is still a good idea.

  4. Perhaps Udacity’s CS256 course (starting 01/14) will focus around this idea.

  5. Chrome – can’t do too much with it, and it’s for desktops and notebooks.
    Android – can do much more (and it still gets knocked compared to “full” OS like Ubuntu/OSX/Win8) and it’s on Phones, tablets and low end notebooks.

    Just struck me as odd with the role reversal there, since I’d expect to do more with notebooks and desktops than tablets and phones

  6. “developers will be able to create apps that can run on phones, tablets, notebooks, desktops, or anything in between”
    Isn’t Microsoft working on this also? I believe their target date is the release date of Windows9.

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